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Cannabis Marketing in 2021: 9 Tips and Strategies to Succeed

January 22, 2021

Years back, cannabis was considered an illegal drug both at the federal and state level. But the therapeutic benefits of CBD cannot be denied proving the naysayers wrong. Today, there are 36 medicinal states and 15 states are completely legal. The states of New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana approved the recreational and medical use of cannabis during the 2020 elections.

And more states and countries are expected to turn green. With the growth of the cannabis industry comes opportunities.

Unlike traditional products, marketing is tricky due to the federal and state laws that regulate the cannabis market. Fortunately, there is digital marketing that can be used to promote products and services.

To market effectively, you need a marketing strategy to connect with your target audience.

Marketing and Advertising in the Cannabis Industry

It was nowhere near as easy to promote our writing, our business, or our message as we thought it would be. We could write some amazing, blow your mind, enlighten your mood, and elevate your senses kind of stuff but no one would see it because we couldn’t market or promote it. Marketing in the cannabis industry is much more difficult than in other sectors and advertising isn’t any easier. This is something that we quickly found out on our mission to share education surrounding cannabis with the world.

We quickly learned that there are many limitations and stipulations when it comes to marketing and advertising businesses, brands, companies, and organizations within the cannabis niche. This is true whether they work directly with the plant hands on or not. Luckily, however, us “stoners” are quite innovative and we are quickly overcoming these obstacles.

As Marijuana Writers these obstacles and limitations were much fiercer. This is one reason why we ultimately chose to rebrand to CannaLance. By doing so we have been able to drastically change our marketing and advertising strategies as well as increase our reach when publishing original cannabis content for ourselves and our clients.

Limitations and Obstacles

  • Expect a lot of new players in the robust cannabis industry and competition will be fierce. Federal and state laws make it difficult to market cannabis. A cannabusiness that overcomes these hurdles will be amply rewarded with green sales. Get some inspiration from these ideas we prepared.

  • Promoting cannabis related content on social media is nearly impossible due to federally regulated terms and conditions set forth by companies such as Facebook and Instagram.

  • Social media platforms are infamous for shutting down well established cannabis based business pages forcing brands to build from the bottom up time and time again.

  • Broadcasters which have long been a form of word of mouth advertising for businesses are scared to help promote cannabis businesses. This is because the FCC issues licenses each year based on how well broadcasters serve the public interest and according to Section 843 of the Controlled Substances Act promoting cannabis businesses while the plant is federally illegal is a direct violation.

Ways to Overcome Limitations and Obstacles

There are many ways that you can overcome these limitations and obstacles without breaking the law. These are a few of them that we have found to be most effective and help bring us success not just with CannaLance but also with our other content company, AnEye4TheShot, and in building an interest in our essential oil company Oils of Time.

  • Incorporate a strong SEO strategy across the company website and social media platforms. This will help people find your business without having to “advertise” through other means.

  • Build a strong social media following and provide daily interaction with followers. This will allow you to promote new products directly to individuals who have shown an interest in your products or services. Be diligent about what you share however. The promotion of sale of actual cannabis products is highly frowned upon and could lead to your account being shut down. We suggest not mentioning cannabis or marijuana within the text of your social media profiles to help keep your accounts from being flagged.

  • Create a blog and provide your followers, potential customers, clients, and the entire world with original engaging content on a consistent basis. Then promote that content across all of your social media accounts, in your company’s newsletter, and in your brands email marketing campaigns!

Here are our tips and strategies: 

Tip 1: Influencer marketing brings personality

One of the obstacles to cannabis marketing is the numerous hiccups to openly promote these products in the market. Even with recent victories at the state level, it is still classified as an illegal drug by the federal government. Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Ads among others follow federal laws and prohibit cannabis marketing.

The options in advertising and promotions are limited which gave rise to the popularity of influencer marketing.  Social media influencers know how to convey messages to potential customers without breaking any rules. They have innate storytelling talent and persuasive ability to use words in defining personalities and objects that connect with customers.

Here are some of the top cannabis influencers that you’ll see on different social media platforms.

  • Steve DeAngelo: Presents himself as the “The Father of the Cannabis Industry” on Instagram. He is one of the Originators and Chairman of Harborside, a famous dispensary chain in Oakland, California. A long time advocate for the legalization of cannabis in the U.S.

  • Michelle Ross: Ross is a neuroscientist, mental health expert, and author. She supports herbal medicine and helps people with chronic disorders.

  • Wiz Khalifa: Khalifa shows his love for cannabis by promoting and including it in his music.

  • Megan Elizabeth: A YouTuber who tested several cannabis products and showed the benefits. Post instructional videos to help people suffering from anxiety and depression.

  • Krishna Sai Andavolu: Andavolu is the host and producer of Weediquette. Here he shows the effect of cannabis legalization in some states and outside of the U.S. Some episodes cover stories of patients using medical cannabis to treat symptoms of PTSD and cancer.

Cannabis marketing on the internet is not a simple process, especially with the various challenges that confront the industry. However, with the right strategy, you can boost your cannabusiness through digital marketing.

Tip 2: Maximize social media platforms

Most social media platforms prohibit posting content related to cannabis. But it doesn’t mean that if you can’t place ads, you can’t maintain your presence. Your target when marketing your brand should be to educate and not sell.

Social media is a powerful tool to communicate with your audience. It is an avenue to define your company’s values, pinpoint the issues that you help solve for clients, and why they should choose your brand.

Twitter and Linkedin are lenient with their ad policies, Videos and pictures can be posted on Instagram, and Facebook messenger allows messages about your service.

Tip 3: Perform technical search engine optimization (SEO)

Implementing technical SEO and on-page SEO copywriting will help your cannabusiness rank high on Google and bring qualified traffic to your site.

Technical SEO covers website and server strategies that help bots of search engines sort your site thoroughly and enhance your organic search rankings. This includes optimizing and implementing a secure HTTPS server and SSL certificate, fixing duplicate content, maximizing load time and site speed, seeing to it that the website is mobile-friendly, and more.

Search engines favor websites that execute technical issues well. Optimize your technical SEO before implementing any other SEO tactic.

Tip 4: Content marketing

Content marketing educates your target audience with relevant content that provides value. It can improve your SEO, create new leads, and establish authority. Content marketing will help your potential customers solve their problems, educate, and sway them in their purchasing decision.

It has many forms such as blog posts, guides, EBooks, podcasts, and webinars

The website content should contain related phrases to your focus keywords. Keywords are words that your target audience types in the search box to get the information they need about cannabis.

Tip 5: Utilize Cannabis Dispensaries

Marijuana store owners have to contend with new market players and laws when marketing cannabis products. We delved into these hitches and came up with solutions that will keep your cash register busy.

Tip 6: Differentiate your brand

The astounding growth of cannabis has given many opportunities, it comes as no surprise that there are lots of newcomers in the industry. Branding will play an important role in differentiating your brand from competitors.

Tip 7: Go against the flow

Be creative and think outside the box. Many cannabusinesses used the cannabis leaf in every ad, label, or display. Don’t be like Joe try something different.

For instance, a farmhouse with some cannabis leaves in the background, a greenhouse during, or a natural landscape of your state using some words related to cannabis.

Tip 8: Research the law

Each state has its own laws about advertising, packaging, labeling, and more. Get updated with what you can and can’t do.

Avoid unsupported claims, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)means business about truth in advertising.

If you are in the cannabusiness operating a cannabis dispensary, you know the FDA does not allow the amount of THC in a CBD product to go over 0.3 percent. The cannabis laws vary from state-to-state, Arizona recognizes patients from other states but California, Colorado, and Hawaii do not.

Never make baseless assumptions when selling cannabis, know your state’s laws and federal laws and follow them.

Tip 9: Know your audience

Trying to reach everyone often fails, the tendency is to compete with the prices of other brands. Defining your ideal buyer allows you to focus on more targeted campaigns and products. Branding depends on values, design, and messages so be sure to align with your audience.

Related article: The Surprising Truth About the Target Market for Cannabis

The Importance of a Strong SEO Strategy in the Cannabis Industry

I have mentioned a strong SEO strategy several times throughout this article. Here are a few of the reasons why a strong SEO strategy is crucial for businesses and organizations within the cannabis niche.

  • SEO is how the internet ranks businesses within search results so a strong SEO strategy is crucial to your brand and company’s ability to be found on the internet.
  • A strong SEO strategy should lead to increased website traffic which could lead to an increase in conversions for your business.
  • A strong SEO strategy should bring about a stronger social media presence which should lead to more site traffic and brand exposure.

The Importance of Original Content in the Cannabis Industry

Original content is one of the most important things that you can invest in as a company. Many websites come with a blog already incorporated but unfortunately many businesses allow those pages to sit blank and in return are missing out on major benefits for their company. A blog with original content can offer many benefits, including but not limited to the following;

  • A blog can help you establish trust with your readership making them more apt to purchase your products or services.
  • A blog with original, engaging, and factual content can help a business establish themselves as a thought leader in their specific niche.
  • Original content is your #1 tool when it comes to a successful SEO strategy as this is where you can apply SEO the most.

The Importance of a Strong Social Media Presence and Daily Interaction in the Cannabis Industry

Social media is very important in today’s business world. This is especially true though for businesses within the cannabis niche as advertising and marketing options are limited. Here are a few of the benefits to having and maintaining a strong social media presence.

  • Maintaining a daily social media presence shows that you are loyal and dedicated to your followers.
  • Utilizing social media is the second-best way to increase the success of your SEO strategy and should be taken into consideration when planning your strategy for the best results.
  • Interacting with your followers and gaining new ones is networking in the simplest of forms and as you probably know, networking is key to helping gain brand exposure in the cannabis niche.